Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Permanent Political Class

Boomtown exposes the crony capitalism in Washington, DC.
 “It’s a bipartisan problem. But the Obama Administration has taken crony capitalism to a whole new level. Being pro-free markets is not the same thing as being pro big business. ‘Boomtown’ explains the difference.”
Indeed, the explosion of wealth in Washington is undeniable. Consider the following:
    • D.C. is the 4th fastest city in the country at minting new millionaires.
    • Average income among the top 5% of Washington households is $473,000. That’s the highest among the 50 largest U.S. cities.
    • Average income among the top 20% of D.C. households is higher than in every city except San Francisco.
    • Between 2007-2008, the amount of money spent on lobbyists jumped by almost $500 million—the biggest jump in the last 15 years by far because of bailout money.
    • Only Atlanta and Boston have greater income divides than the D.C. area.

Friday, January 25, 2013

12. Bastiat ~ The Answer is to Restrict the Law

Frederic Bastiat was a French economist and statesman. During and after the Revolution in 1848, he warned of the inevitable degeneration of socialism into communism in The LawPrevious Bastiat posts can be found here.

From The Law:

I know what might be said in answer to this; what the objections might be. But this is not the place to exhaust a controversy of this nature. I wish merely to observe here that this controversy over universal suffrage (as well as most other political questions) which agitates, excites, and overthrows nations, would lose nearly all of its importance if the law had always been what it ought to be. In fact, if law were restricted to protecting all persons, all liberties, and all properties; if law were nothing more than the organized combination of the individual's right to self defense; if law were the obstacle, the check, the punisher of all oppression and plunder — is it likely that we citizens would then argue much about the extent of the franchise?
Under these circumstances, is it likely that the extent of the right to vote would endanger that supreme good, the public peace? Is it likely that the excluded classes would refuse to peaceably await the coming of their right to vote? Is it likely that those who had the right to vote would jealously defend their privilege? If the law were confined to its proper functions, everyone's interest in the law would be the same. Is it not clear that, under these circumstances, those who voted could not inconvenience those who did not vote?

11. Bastiat ~ The Reason Why Voting is Restricted

Frederic Bastiat was a French economist and statesman. During and after the Revolution in 1848, he warned of the inevitable degeneration of socialism into communism in The LawPrevious Bastiat posts can be found here.
From The Law:

A closer examination of the subject shows us the motive which causes the right of suffrage to be based upon the supposition of incapacity. The motive is that the elector or voter does not exercise this right for himself alone, but for everybody. The most extended elective system and the most restricted elective system are alike in this respect. They differ only in respect to what constitutes incapacity. It is not a difference of principle, but merely a difference of degree. If, as the republicans of our present-day Greek and Roman schools of thought pretend, the right of suffrage arrives with one's birth, it would be an injustice for adults to prevent women and children from voting. Why are they prevented? Because they are presumed to be incapable. And why is incapacity a motive for exclusion? Because it is not the voter alone who suffers the consequences of his vote; because each vote touches and affects everyone in the entire community; because the people in the community have a right to demand some safeguards concerning the acts upon which their welfare and existence depend.

10. Bastiat ~ Who Shall Judge?

Frederic Bastiat was a French economist and statesman. During and after the Revolution in 1848, he warned of the inevitable degeneration of socialism into communism in The LawPrevious Bastiat posts can be found here.
From The Law:

The followers of Rousseau's school of thought — who consider themselves far advanced, but whom I consider twenty centuries behind the times — will not agree with me on this. But universal suffrage — using the word in its strictest sense — is not one of those sacred dogmas which it is a crime to examine or doubt. 

In fact, serious objections may be made to universal suffrage.

In the first place the word universal conceals a gross fallacy. For example, there are 36 million people in France. Thus, to make the right of suffrage universal, there should be 36 million voters. But the most extended system permits only 9 million people to vote. Three persons out of four are excluded. And more than this, they are excluded by the fourth. This fourth person advances the principle of incapacity as his reason for excluding the others.

Universal suffrage means, then, universal suffrage for those who are capable. But there remains this question of fact: Who is capable? Are minors, females, insane persons, and persons who have committed certain major crimes the only ones to be determined incapable?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Women in Combat

There are a lot of issues here - a Pandora's box of issues in fact. Even if all physical challenges were alleviated through job specific standards, there is still the issue of unit cohesion. But that concept was ridiculed, and dismissed with the repeal of DADT. Ultimately, this goes more to men's and women's roles in society than simply providing equal opportunity for women in the service. This is the most important question, but the discussion will never get that far. It will stay mired in physical abilities and sexist scenarios that undermine the real issues.

There's much, much more to say on this topic - such as whether there should be job specific standards (problematic since they could also provide an excuse to those who don't want to do a particular MOS), whether it is fair for women to have the option of combat jobs when men do not (extend this to Selective Service registration also), and long term effects on women's health and their ability to succeed under such conditions (see commentary by female Marine Capt Petronio - combat engineer), and what should be at the heart of the issue -military effectiveness.

Finally, it isn't clear if physical standards will change, or exactly what jobs will now be open. True, women are already on the front lines in various capacities, so from my perspective I'd like to know a lot more about the specifics of the change, and I would really appreciate it if our lawmakers would think through these things before implementation rather than constantly dealing with unintended consequences.

Zo is dope

AlfonZo Rachel of Zo Nation takes on Snoop Dog teaching his kid how to smoke dope, and Quentin Tarantino, and the prison system here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Are women victims or not?

On the one hand, the Violence Against Women Act must be renewed, and on the other, Women in Combat!

The same day that Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense, announces more frontline combat jobs will be open to women, Valerie Jarrett, the President's favorite advisor, calls for Congress to reauthorize the Act that was originally passed in 1994. The Act focuses on domestic abuse and provides support for law enforcement and immigrants who need protection. See Jarrett: 'If There's One Thing We Should All Agree On, It's Protecting Women From Violence'.

It's an interesting juxtaposition of interests. What is the message? Women are victims and need protection from abusive partners, but women are equal to men and can hold their own on the battlefield? Can both of these be true at the same time?

Hillary testifies

She's quite animated - not your usual Congressional testimony.

Eating our own

Read Sally Zelikovsky's commentary about criticism within conservative ranks. She is so right. If you don't believe me, see the commenters go crazy on her.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Roe v. Wade is 40 today... or, 55 million abortions later

This video celebrates the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court decision that found privacy protected a woman's right to abortion, without limitations during the first trimester of pregnancy. The video is creepy at best, but the context of placing Roe v Wade as the lover of a smooth talking black man is really strange. It not only gives the subject no respect, but doesn't it perpetuate the myth of the overly sexualized black male? To add to this insult, it's the black communities that are overwhelmingly affected by abortion. Clinics are more frequently found in minority neighborhoods than in any other, and black abortions count for 40% of all abortions, while blacks are only 13% of the population.

Anyone who wants to stop these damaging cultural stereotypes has to admit that this video is disgusting to all those who feel deeply about the consequences of abortion, but also the effect it has had in destroying black families and communities. If the Right does not go full blown racist on this video, they will miss a huge chance to show Planned Parenthood, Naral, Center for Reproductive Rights, NOW, and other "choice" groups for who they are - patronizing, elitist, eugenicists.

Hillary will testify tomorrow, as terror groups flourish

Finally, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will testify on the Benghazi attack tomorrow. Not many news sources have reported on this yet, so it appears to be old news. But until the full story is told, it's still essential for the public to know what happened.

The recent attacks in Algeria are getting hardly any airtime, and over 80 people were killed -everyday, hardworking people, some of them Americans. We've heard barely anything about this, but it deserves attention as well, since this incident further shows the growth of terror groups in North Africa. Terrorists originating in Mali are responsible for this attack. This is the new, the next, Afghanistan.

Obama's foreign policy of appeasement is contributing to the resurgence and growth of these groups. They grow strong and are emboldened while the President launches a war on the GOP, and conservatives generally, but most do not see the dangerous overreach. It's not too late, it's never too late, but conservatives need to form a plan of attack and take action. The sooner the better.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The first time I actually like the First Lady's ensemble...

and the girls' coordinating outfits. But purple is my favorite color, so it could be that.

MLK observance today

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.

His Letter from a Birmingham Jail is here. I Have a Dream speech is here

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ban pit bulls?

Oklahoma Senate Bill 32 seeks to ban pit bulls. But what will they do with the "mixes"? Maybe they can give a mental health evaluation to their owners-just like with gun control!